If you live in Texas and wonder whether solar panels are worth installing, you have come to the right place
Residential solar panel installation is reaching an all-time high. In fact, the renewable energy sector boomed by 45% in 2020, the largest annual rate of increase since 1999.
Solar energy continues to be the favorite renewable energy among homeowners, mainly for its ease and cost of installation.
The question herein lies, are solar panels worth it in Texas?
The Global Horizontal Irradiation (GHI) average for Texas is 4.8 kWh/M2, making it one of the most adequate locations within the United States for residential solar panel installation. This stands true whether you own or lease your home.
Are Solar Panels Worth it in Texas?
If your Texas home has sufficient roof space and is not shaded by a mass of trees, then chances are, installing solar panels will be worth it.
The reason for this is simple. Solar panels require a sufficient amount of sun in order to operate at their maximum efficiency.
Texas has more than enough sun.
So, when it comes to sun exposure, there is no need for you to worry, there is an ample amount for your solar panels to absorb.
Let’s talk a bit more about the overall climate in Texas to further establish the worthyness of installing solar panels within this sun-abundant state.
Understanding The Climate in Texas
Texas has many different climatic patterns. They range from arid and semi-arid in the west to humid and subtropical in the east.
Generally, the best months for solar production in Texas are between March and September. This is when the sun passes directly over the equator in March, reaches its furthest north point in the sky in June, and crosses the equator in September.
Texas has the ideal weather conditions to produce a consistent amount of energy via a photovoltaic system.
How Much Sunlight Hours Does Texas Get?
On average Texas get around 4.8 kWh/M2. However, if you would like to see your exact peak sunlight hours we recommend checking out the map below:
Why is knowing your area’s peak sunlight hours beneficial? Well, this data (alongside your electricity consumption) is critical in understanding what size solar system will suit your needs.
The question you should rather be asking yourself is how much will a solar system cost, and how long will it take to recoup my initial investment.
Once you know this, you can establish whether solar panels are worth it for your individual situation.
How Much Would a Solar System Cost in Texas?
The cost of your solar system depends on the four following things:
- How much electricity you use every month
- How many peak sunlight hours you get
- The type of solar panels you choose
- Which solar brand you decide on
How Much Electricity Do You Use?
First things first, you need to establish what your monthly electricity consumption is. Simply look at your annual electricity bill and divide the kWh usage by 31 to get your monthly consumption.
The average monthly consumption in Texas is 1,140kWh.
How many Peak Sunlight Hours Do You Get?
We have already established that Texas gets about 4.8 hours of sunlight a day.
What Type of Solar Panels Do You Want?
Monocrystalline solar panels are by far the smarter more efficient choice and are growing in popularity worldwide, particularly in Germany.
However, they are slightly more expensive.
Your other option would be polycrystalline solar panels, they are less efficient but more affordable.
Which Solar Brand Should You Choose?
The solar brand you choose will have an impact on the overall cost of your solar panel system. Below we have featured a table that breaks down the cost per watt for all the solar companies found in the United States.
Keep in mind that there is a big chance you won’t need such large solar systems, it is very possible that all you need is a 2.5 kW solar system to offset your energy consumption.
We will help you figure out your home’s individual solar panel requirements further down in the article. Perhaps solar panels are worth it if they cost less than the figures stated below.
|MANUFACTURER||COST PER WATT||PRICE RANGE (6KW SYSTEM)||PRICE RANGE (10KW SYSTEM)|
|Axitec||$2.53||$13,680 - $16,680||$22,800 - $27,800|
|Aptos||$2.46||$12,960 - $16,560||$21,600 - $27,600|
|Canadian Solar||$2.96||$16,380 - $19,140||$27,300 - $31,900|
|CertainTeed Solar||$2.74||$15,540 - $17,340||$25,900 - $28,900|
|First Solar||$2.53||$14,940 - $15,420||$24,900 - $25,700|
|Hanwha SolarOne||$2.80||$16,800 - $16,800||$28,000 - $28,000|
|Heliene||$2.89||$15,540 - $19,140||$25,900 - $31,900|
|Hyundai||$3.03||$15,180 - $21,180||$25,300 - $35,300|
|JA Solar||$2.66||$13,920 - $18,000||$23,200 - $30,000|
|Jinko Solar||$2.79||$14,280 - $19,200||$23,800 - $32,000|
|LG Solar||$2.75||$14,220 - $18,780||$23,700 - $31,300|
|LONGi Solar||$2.81||$14,460 - $19,260||$24,100 - $32,100|
|Mission Solar||$2.62||$13,980 - $17,460||$23,300 - $29,100|
|Next Energy Alliance||$2.44||$13,800 - $15,480||$23,000 - $25,800|
|Panasonic||$2.71||$14,400 - $18,120||$24,000 - $30,200|
|Peimar Group||$2.65||$14,160 - $17,640||$23,600 - $29,400|
|Phono Solar Technology||$2.89||$15,780 - $18,900||$26,300 - $31,500|
|Q CELLS||$2.70||$13,920 - $18,480||$23,200 - $30,800|
|REC||$2.76||$14,160 - $18,960||$23,600 - $31,600|
|Risen||$2.30||$13,800 - $13,800||$23,000 - $23,000|
|S-Energy||$2.57||$13,740 - $17,100||$22,900 - $28,500|
|Seraphim||$2.65||$15,900 - $15,900||$26,500 - $26,500|
|Silfab Solar||$2.81||$14,880 - $18,840||$24,800 - $31,400|
|Solaria||$2.86||$14,640 - $19,680||$24,400 - $32,800|
|SunPower||$3.35||$18,840 - $21,360||$31,400 - $35,600|
|Suntech||$2.53||$12,840 - $17,520||$21,400 - $29,200|
|Tesla||$2.72||$14,700 - $17,940||$24,500 - $29,900|
|Trina Solar||$2.82||$14,880 - $18,960||$24,800 - $31,600|
|VSUN||$2.11||$11,940 - $13,380||$19,900 - $22,300|
|ZNShine Solar||$2.99||$15,540 - $20,340||$25,900 - $33,900|
How Much Solar Panels Do I Need For My Home in Texas?
In order to figure out how much solar panels will cost for your home in Texas, we need to teach you the formula for sizing your solar system.
You already have all the information stated in the 4 points above.
Now we just have to put it all together.
You will need to use this formula to figure out the number of solar panels your home needs: Monthly electricity usage divided by monthly peak sun hours x 1000. You then divide that answer by the power rating of your proposed solar panel (400 watts, for example).
Using the above formula let’s walk you through the steps you will need to take (simply replace your information where applicable).
Step 1 – Figure out your electricity usage
- For this example, you use 1,140 kW per month.
Step 2 – What is the monthly peak sun hours in Texas
- We know that is 4.8 hours a day as an average for the entire Texas, we then multiply that by 31 days to get the monthly value: 4.8 x 31 = 148,8 peak sun hours.
Step 3 – Decide what wattage your solar panels will be and what brand you will use
- Most homes in Texas install 400 watt solar panels. Lets use Canadian Solar as a brand for this example.
Step 4 – Apply the formula above
7.6 x 1000 = 7600 watts
7600 watts divided by 400 watts = 19
19 Solar panels will need to be installed on your home in Texas.
- If we buy our panels from Canadian Solar at $2.96 per watt, the total cost of our 7600-watt solar system will amount to $22,496.
As you can see, the cost of your solar system largely depends on your electricity consumption and sun hours. If you were to live in a place with fewer sun hours than in Texas but use the same amount of electricity, you would need to install an even bigger solar system to offset your energy usage. This would mean a higher initial investment, as you’d need more solar panels.
How Long Before Solar Panels Pay Themselves Off in Texas?
This depends on the amount of electricity you consume each month and the size of the solar system you bought.
In Texas, the average monthly electricity consumption is 1,140kWh per month. The average cost per kWh in Texas is 11.96 cents per kWh.
Therefore the average home in Texas could expect to pay about $136,66 a month for electricity.
As already discussed, you would need a 7.6kW (7600 watts) solar system to offset this amount of consumption. Your total cost for a 7.6kW solar system would be $22,496 (before tax incentives).
Texas government allows residential customers to claim a 30 percent tax credit for the purchase and installation of solar systems.
Therefore, your total solar system cost would be $15,748.
$15,748 divided by $136,66 = 115 months.
115 months divided by 12 months = 9.5 years.
It will take a solar panel system 9.5 years to pay itself off, assuming you use around 1,140kWh a month. On average solar panels last between 25 – 30 years.
This means you will enjoy 20 years of free electricity and will save around $32,798 within that time span!
Is it Worth It?
We have giving you the ability to determine how much your own home’s solar system would cost, whether solar panels are worth it or not is entirely up to you. Only you know what you can afford and how much solar savings would benefit your lifestyle.
In our opinion, if you live in Texas, investing in solar panels will be one of the smartest decisions you can make.
Do you live in Texas and already own solar panels? Share your experience with the rest of us and let us know your thoughts on whether solar panels are worth buying in Texas or not.
We would love to read your feedback!